Landmark Feminist Art on Exhibit at Spalding University

by ekramer on July 17, 2008

An artwork created by local artists with renowned feminist artist Judy Chicago has an opening reception Thursday at Spalding University’s Huff Gallery.

The idea for the Hot Flash Fan came about in 1984, when Geraldine Ferraro was a candidate for Vice President and women’s health issues, especially menopause, were seldom discussed.

Ann Stewart Anderson worked with Judy Chicago and more than 50 other women to create this large textile piece with panels representing myths and realities about menopause.

Anderson remembers the first showing in 1985.

“There was not one sound and some people were in tears. They were just so moved by it, that this had finally happened,” Anderson says. “People started talking about menopause at cocktail parties. It was out there all of a sudden.”

Anderson remembers working with Chicago, who had overseen the creation of “The Dinner Party,” a famous installation with work by other women artists, in the 1970s. (It is on permanent display at the Brooklyn Museum.)

“She was tough to work with but also extremely inspired and inspiring because she just believed that you could do anything,” Anderson says. “I learned a lot from her, as a matter of fact.”

The Kentucky Foundation for Women says it’s showing this piece 23 years after its creation, to elevate the discussion of women’s issues especially health.

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